Our Quick Guide to Eye Protection – The Key Differences between EN Specifications

Our Quick Guide to Eye Protection – The Key Differences between EN Specifications

The European Standard (EN) sets the standard for ensuring you purchase good quality eye protection for the task at hand. Here’s a brief overview of the main EN specifications, light transmission, lens colours and properties to help you make the right choice.

EN Standards – What they mean for safety glasses

We’ve included the EN specification details on all of our safety glasses and lenses so you can easily choose the right pair for you. If you’re not sure what the EN codes mean, then here’s a quick breakdown for you:

  • EN 166 - This is the most basic and minimum standard that applies to any type of eye protection, including face shields.
  • EN 170 - The standard for glasses that feature ultraviolet filters and UV ray protection.
  • EN171 - Infrared filters for protection from sun glare and is consistent with radiation protection ratings 4 and 6.
  • EN172 - Solar radiation filters that are suitable for industrial use
  • EN175 - Suitable to be used as welding personal protection equipment, along with other risk or hazards of a radiative, flammable, mechanical or electrical nature.
  • EN 379 – The standard for welding filters that automatically darken when an arc is ignited.

Light transmission and Lens Colour

You’ll see from our range of safety glasses that we sell clear, coloured or Shade 5 lenses. The colour of the lens allows differing amounts of light to pass through. Here’s a quick overview:

  • 2 - Clear / Amber / Yellow = Allows between 74.4% and 100% of light to pass
  • 1 - Smoke / Green / Blue Water = Allows between 8% and 17.8% of light to pass
  • 5 - Shade 5 = Minimal light allowed to pass through – suitable for Welding

Lens properties

Unless otherwise stated, all of our lenses provide F/T protection as standard, this means they can protect against small object impacts up to 45 metres per second, and can withstand extreme temperatures. Here’s an overview of the main lens property codes:

  • F – Protect against small object impacts of 45 meters per second.
  • B – Protect against small object impacts of 120 meters per second.
  • A – Protect against small object impacts of 190 meters per second.
  • T – Withstands extreme temperatures.
  • N – Anti-fog
  • K – Resistant to damage from fine particles.
  • 9 – Resistance to penetration of hot solids.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about the suitability of any of our safety glasses, please do hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help and advise.


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